Monday, February 24, 2014


This winter has not been one conducive to working on board the boat so far. So I've been sitting around thinking about the projects not getting done, whether or not I need a Sailrite sewing machine in my life and other wishful things. Every once in a while a tangential project comes along like this:

Over ten years ago I won a stained glass lighthouse at the Nonsuch Rendezvous dinner in Boston. As far as I can figure it is modeled after the Absecon Lighthouse in New Jersey near Atlantic City:

Being real glass it's too fragile for use on the boat so for the last few years it has been used as nightlight in the bathroom. Where it guides this sailor to the right port in the night. Well, last week the 120 volt 5 watt incandescent bulb that lights it internally burnt out.

Now I could have probably found another bulb and replaced it. But, then it would still have to be turned on manually and it would still be powered by plugging it into the electric grid. Costing money as part of the monthly electric bill. A small issue but, one of my mottos is "if you watch the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves". Also having electric propulsion on board has made me more aware of where the energy one uses comes from. Plus I've already built and have used for several years a solar powered whole house lighting system. Hmmm, why not replace the incandescent lamp in the night light lighthouse with an LED bulb and hook it into the solar powered lighting system? Why nor indeed!
I had a few spare 3 LED Module 12 volt White Waterproof Lights  sitting around that I've used around the house and also on the boat. So I put one inside the lighthouse and connected it up to the 12 solar powered house lighting system.

Now when dusk comes the lighthouse light comes on just like the big boys:

 I never have to turn it on since the solar light controller does that automatically and it is greener and more efficient than the old incandescent bulb. Plus it is not longer taking any green paper out of my wallet as part of the electric bill. A win, win, win situation. I like that.

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